Trees you Should NEVER Plant at Your House

I Woke up this morning and it was 28 … yesterday it was 75 … must be winter in North Texas, which means that we are getting into the ideal time to plant a tree (winter!). we all know that some trees are better than others, so I decided to give you a list of trees that you do NOT want to plant at your home (unless you’re into struggling, or just REALLY like the tree!

Here are my 17 top trees to never ever ever ever plant here in Dallas/Ft. Worth and surrounding. Enjoy!

1.       Cottonwood In Dallas county, it is actually illegal to plant a cottonwood tree. While these poor guys have absolutely gorgeous canopy structure, get to a decent height without having too many structural issues, there’s one giant problem you DO NOT want to have to deal with.

Cottonwoods are dioecious, meaning some are male and some are female, and if you have ever lived near a cottonwood, you know exactly how TERRIBLE the female cottonwoods can be. Those of course are the ones that put of the tremendous amounts of cotton-like fluff that give cottonwoods their name. These are also the cause of many a pool filter and A/C condenser’s demise, as they get in, around, and all over pretty much anything within a 100 yard radius!

2.       Sweetgum as nice and gentle as these guys seem by their name, they have these nasty little spiky balls (the fruit) that they produce. I jokingly refer to these “spiky balls” as “ankle-busters,” but if you’ve ever accidentally stepped on them, you realize that they are no joke! The fruit can be chemically controlled effectively, but believe me it gets expensive!

3.       Black Walnut – Black walnuts are GREAT! Except for 2 main issues; first off, they produce a chemical in the soil that prevents pretty much every other tree or plant on the planet from effectively growing. Secondly, they have GIGANTONOURMOUS fruit shells that are just smaller than a tennis ball. Unfortunately, they are significantly heavier than tennis balls and wreak all sorts of havoc when falling from the 60’ that black walnuts are capable of!

4.       Ash Trees 3 words: EMERALD. ASH. BORER. Look it up, it’s just not worth it until we come up with a prevention method that isn’t insanely expensive!

5.       Silver Maple Brittle, weak wood, a natural proclivity to get sick easily, and a root system that WILL take over your saint Augustine, make this tree FAR from the ideal shade tree for your landscape!

6.       Mimosa But they have such pretty flowers! Yes … gorgeous trees, until they randomly die from some crazy fungus that so easily invaded your tree! Another issue is that they reproduce VERY rapidly. In other words, you will have a complete mimosa takeover if you don’t keep them at bay constantly!

7.       Bradford Pear for those of you in suburbia, you’ve probably noticed a neighbor’s Bradford pear split in half – and it may not have even been during a storm. In fact, they have been known to split without any warning, OR wind! Unless you like having an ugly “half-tree” in your front yard, just get an Aristocrat Pear instead; all the benefits, none of the problems!

8.       Chinese Tallow not only are the fruits messy as hell, they are also a very brittle tree AND an extremely invasive tree with a root system that will make any concrete structure (your foundation included) quiver in fear! Oh that’s right, the fruit is poisonous to people and dogs too!

9.       Eucalyptus leave this one for the SoCal (southern cali) and Aussi folks! While the strong scent may be appealing and have multiple uses, it is one of the fastest growing trees, and requires a TON of maintenance, especially if you don’t live in a tropical location

10.   Quaking Aspen These guys suck up nutrients like no other! If you plan on having anything other than quaking aspen around your quaking aspen, I have 2 words for you: Good Luck!

11.   Linden imagine coming outside on a cloudless day and feeling a nice gentle fall of rain right underneath your recently planted Linden tree. Oh wait … that’s not rain … it’s aphid feces! Now have fun scrubbing that sticky, disgusting mess off of your car!

12.   Lombardy or Common Poplars if you’re looking for difficult to control root systems and a plethora of bugs and disease that you are constantly battling, then be sure and sign up to get a Lombardy poplar installed in your front yard! If not, then stay away from these dudes!

13.   White Birch unfortunately, these beauties have one of the weaker root systems out there and, given any root issues just kind of fall over. This isn’t so bad, unless you, or your car, or your home, or anyone or anything else happen to be under it!

14.   Leyland Cypress fast growing, showing, a little bit of cool texture, and a very “Christmassy” look, you would think would make this a great tree to own, but unfortunately there is a disease called Siridium Canker which is taking these guys out like they were going out of style. Oh yeah, they also tend to fall over with very little root damage!

15.   Honey Locust who’s bad idea was this tree anyways. With a multitude of pest issues, and a 1” needle that will penetrate even bullet-proof armor, just stay away from these guys!

16.   Norway Maple another greedy tree that steals ALL of the nutrients in your soil. If these are planted alone, they do just fine, but with other plants and you’re sure to struggle to keep everything alive

17.   Mulberry fruiting and fruitless – messy, disease proned, and short-lived, your just kind of better off without one of these bad-boys. On top of that, they produce insane amounts of pollen which attract some pretty wicked insects!

There you have it. I’m not normally this negative, but these trees suck … and are sure to suck the dollars out of your bank account trying to maintain them! Avoid these trees, keep reading to find out what trees would work well for you, and you’re sure to love your tree for many years to come!


-Matt Latham-
“The Tree Care Ninja”